'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015


There have been a rash of fun, smile-making 'machines' in the last few years.
In the really old days all we had was the bucket on the top of the door trick. And machines that reduced your swollen glands etc.

In the just old days, all we had were 'jacob's ladders' (click-clacks - originally from Japan) and domino lines - here's a really long one.  (Turn your sound off)

A Rude Goldberg contraption
I prefer the ones that could be better called 'contraptions' - like that cartoon professor's - that utilise lifters, flingers, rollers, fallers and hitters, to continue a movement, either cyclically or linearly.

LEGO is a great raw material:

But my favourites are these ones below, perhaps because they are so beautiful and only seem to be made of wire and wood.  Oh, there is a bit of clear perspex there too.


  1. As I sat watching both videos, my main thought was 'what sort of person dreams-up, and makes, these things'. Genius, but totally obsessed.

    1. I'm glad when people share their obsessions. Because a) I can enjoy them and b) I can have my own without feeling so weird.

  2. I did not know that you liked engineering stuff. I like it. You see it everywhere in manufacturing plants, from filling beer bottles to making lightbulbs.

    1. I love all kinds of stuff Ben. I miss the years when I was homeschooling my kids. It was a time when I had a built-in excuse to ask to visit manufacturing plants and other like places.


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